We’re at the half-way point of the regular season, and it’s time to evaluate the 7AAA football teams. Where are we? Where are we going?
The Red Hawks are 0-5, but this special case of a team has probably played better than expected in its first year. While the defense has been a major problem, there are obvious signs of good coaching, preparation, talent and effort. Crowds have been big and support is growing. The chances of winning a game in 2013 are shrinking but eventually they will be competitive in the state’s toughest district: The Red Hawks have only five seniors on the roster.
The Wolverines are 1-4 and falling fast toward the bottom of District 7AAA. They dressed only 45 players vs Stewarts Creek. If woulda, shoulda, coulda, got things done, then LaVergne would be 5–0. They may well finish 1–9. A serious evaluation by serious people could well be coming soon. The Blue and Silver just lost to Riverdale for the 17th time in a row and have beaten Smyrna once in 25 years -- that’s unacceptable.
The red and gold are 1–4. The long period of dominance that stretched, except for a hiccup or two, nearly 20 years and nine state championship games has ended. Injuries have hit again, rezoning has hurt, and the talent level and overall size is down, and turnovers are up. Playoff chances are near zero. A 2-8 season, or worse, is entirely possible, and that would be a 42-year low. This has got to be tough for head coach Ron Aydelott, who has a career-winning percentage of over 70 percentage and is a former state champion at Hillsboro.
The Stars are very entertaining and have a 3-2 record. The offense has been good or spectacular and the kicking game may be the counties best. Defense has been a problem but the Stars are slowly getting better. The next two games (Beech and Smyrna) are tough but Siegel should win their last three. Playoffs are very possible. Even when they were 1–2, the voters knew how good the Stars were because they remained in the top ten poll.
The Bulldogs have roared, well, growled their way back from last year’s unlucky 1-9 season to 4-1 at the half-way point. This has truly been a big turnaround. True, they are not at their back to back championship level yet, but they are getting there, especially on defense. A chance at the playoffs is excellent and the Dogs could win eight or more games. In the playoffs, Smyrna will be a real threat to go deep.
The Blaze are 5–0 and state ranked. They are well coached, talented and well prepared for each game. Although Smyrna and Oakland and a very good Bowling Green team await, Blackman will win seven games and probably more. Going 10–0 will be very difficult because the three toughest opponents are the last 3 games and all are away, but the playoffs are only six weeks away. Blackman will definitely be a major factor in the post season.
At 5–0 and with the recent win over powerful Smyrna, Oakland is perhaps the No. 1 team in the state. They are solid in every phase and have no major weaknesses. What is worse for the opponents, the Pats appear to be getting better. If Oakland stays on task and doesn’t look past anyone, they will be 8–0 when they host Blackman on Thursday, Oct. 24. That game will likely decide the district race. The Blaze could also be 8–0. Either way, the game will be standing room only and the game of the year.
Eagleville and Middle Tennessee Christian School are both doing very well at 4–1. They play at Eagleville on Friday, Oct. 18.
I was 4–2 in picks last week and stand at 27–9 on the year. Picks next week will be in the Thursday, Sept. 26, print edition of The Murfreesboro Post.
The games to see this week is Beech High School at Siegel on Thursday, Sept. 26, and Brentwood at Oakland on Friday, Sept. 27.